Pushing Through Creative Blocks At Work

Get that extra hour of sleep, spend time in nature or just allow ideas to flow, half-baked and unjudged, to propel your creative juices

Bhavna Dalal
Updated: Mar 2, 2020 10:34:57 AM UTC
Image: Shutterstock

“Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye” – Dorothy Parker

What does creativity mean to you?

I am always amazed by the varied and diverse responses I receive to this question. Some call it creating something new; some say it is coming up with an original idea while others call it combining different things. To many, it means doing the same thing differently.

No matter what your definition of creativity, it is an important aspect and dimension of fulfillment as a human being. While professions such as acting, photography, painting, etc. are expected to engage creative people, as human beings, we use our creativity in everyday life no matter what the profession or task. Every single person can be creative, and the most mundane task can be made original. It is about tapping into this energy and letting it emerge.

Leaders everywhere want their people to innovate in their jobs to survive the competition, irrespective of the role or industry. Creativity is a fundamental requirement for innovation. Although creativity resides within each one of us, it is not always easy to access it.

Are there times when you feel creatively challenged?

The vital thing to note is that creativity initiates in the right brain and manifests through the left-brain activity into something concrete through action. The birth of creativity happens in the softer emotional side of us, not the logical part of the brain. To ignite creative thinking, you must engage in stirring those dormant emotions. As a writer, I find myself creatively challenged often. I have tried a few methods myself to overcome the blocks and come into a state of flow. Sharing some of the ways to overcome creative blocks:

Spend time in nature
If you have spent hours preparing that presentation but are not completely satisfied with it, take a break and spend some time outside and then come back to it. You will be surprised by the fresh ideas that show up.

Do something outside of your comfort zone
This could mean different things to different people. Inquire what that means to you. Some things you can experiment with are spending time with people you usually don’t, such as children or elders. Doing things you have never done before, like trying your hand at cooking.

Take time for self-care
Get that extra hour of sleep, hit the gym, or treat yourself to something you enjoy doing but don’t have the time to. You can call it productive, valuable time in service of extracting your creativity, which will be useful for work.

Take up a hobby
Bringing out a coloring book out and spending a few minutes scribbling away can open channels of creativity.

Take small steps
If you are working on a project that demands large scale creativity out of you, it can be overwhelming. Get to work by deconstructing into smaller pieces and chip away at it bit by bit.

Set an intention to be creative
Setting intentions for little things can be potent. By setting the intention, you promise yourself to notice, acknowledge, and allow the newer ways of thinking to come to you.

Keep judgments at bay
Creativity in its finished form is natural for anyone to admire and appreciate. However, in its initial stages and raw form, it can be easy to dismiss and judge. Allow ideas to be half baked, unclear, and fuzzy, and trust yourself to be able to sharpen them as you go along.

The thing about creativity is that it is softer subtler energy that cannot be forced. It can hit you when you least expect it. One method may do wonders in one instance and may not work at all another time. To propel through those creative blocks, understand the environment that is conducive for your creative juices to flow and surrender to that.

The author is Founder and CEO of Talent Power Partners, a Leadership Development company based in Bangalore, India.

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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